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Early Start

News/Business. John Berman, Zoraida Sambolin. The latest breaking news and trending stories. New.

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Washington 15, Iowa 14, Wisconsin 13, U.s. 13, John 11, Benghazi 11, Colorado 10, Chicago 9, John Boehner 8, Volkswagen 7, Tim Tebow 6, Nasal 6, America 6, New York 6, Atlanta 6, Clinton 5, Geico 5, Connecticut 5, Charlotte 5, Olivia 4,
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  CNN    Early Start    News/Business. John Berman, Zoraida Sambolin.  
   The latest breaking news and trending stories. New.  

    December 20, 2012
    2:00 - 4:00am PST  

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>> there was a group of students that had traveled from florida, i believe they drove overnight to get to sandy hook and they appeared at the memorial site and just started playing and singing. ♪ ♪ >> i feel your pain, i understand you are grieving and we are here for you. ♪ >> images and words from all can you bear me singing?
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♪ dashing through the snow >> it is holiday travel, folks, threatened by a blizzard. >> you have to put up with the snow and the singing. >> the once promising talks b bogged down again with less than two weeks to go. >> and getting to the bottom of the benghazi fiasco. hearings set to start in a matter of hours from now. good morning you to. sorry about the singing this morning. welcome to "early start." >> it's 5:00 a.m. in the east. she's been singing all morning. we're going to begin with this storm. the cause behind all the singing. it is a big one. it is pounding the nation's midsection and threatening to derail holiday travel plans for millions of americans. what bad timing. a blizzard warning in effect for half a dozen states. colorado has already been clobbered at 156 mile stretch of interstate 70 had to be shut down in both directions yesterday. look at that. the storm is also hitting iowa
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hard overnight packing wind gusts over 50 miles an hour. the wind part of the real problem here. some places could see a foot of snow or more. emergency management officials as far north as wisconsin offering this advice to early christmas travelers. >> i think the first thing you should think about is changing your plans for thursday. >> you know, a lot of people getting on the road today and tomorrow for the christmas season. they have to deal with. this. >> and traveling with kids, you know, the delays start at airport, no fun. >> it could be sunny and 70 degrees and traveling with a kid ain't easy. but it's so bad in was was that the governor there already issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency before the storm even arrives. let's go to meteorologist alexandra steel who is tracking this storm from atlanta. what does it look like? >> of course, colorado yesterday. texas yesterday. the roads be it the wind storms or whatever we saw. today it's i-80 through iowa.
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iowa will be virtually shut down. let me show you pictures from wisconsin. you can see, of course, you heard what the governor is already doing in advance of the storm. the storm is coming in toward you, no question about that. so what we're seeing and what we've already seen, that's where we are. again for the most part. nebraska is out of it. but hastings already eight inches on the ground. this is really this was phase one of the storm. we're getting into phase two of the storm which means more snow and incredibly stronger winds. so eight inches in hastings. iowa, seven inches. iowa will see an incredibly rough day. here's where the blizzard warnings are. we're going to see a virtual shutdown of the state. the snow will be coming down. winds will be gusting to 50 miles per hour. here's what we're expecting, 6 to 12 inches of snow. then into graeen bay, northern wisconsin could see a foot plus in terms of snowfall. so incredibly amount of snow today. more than we saw yesterday. and the winds will be so much more powerful. places like chicago, a rainy
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start. but then late this afternoon and into tonight we'll see a change over from that rain to snow. and then look at this tight pressure gradient. it winds up and you can see, guys, the closer those lines are, the lines of equal pressure, the stronger the winds. the winds we've already seen have been strong. but the winds, the strongest yet to come. so today the midwest will be incredibly hard hit, guys? >> what day does it get out east? >> it gets to the east coast before the weekend, actually. so today we're fine. into friday night and saturday night. but it moves quickly and just a rain maker. >> all right. alexandra steel, thank you very much. >> we were laughing about it, but this creates that black ice and really treacherous driving conditions. folks, be careful out there. so what happened? what happened to the progress on the fiscal cliff negotiations? it is 12 days to go and a political stalemate has set in. president obama and john boehner appear to be digging in heals. he says take the deal. meantime, the speaker intends to
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put his plan b up to a vote in the house today. it would extend the bush era tax cuts up to $1 million. if some democrats block it, the president becomes responsible for the tax hikes that kick in when the nation goes over that fiscal cliff. cnn political editor paul stein houser is in washington this morning. your job is to explain all of this to us. >> it really seems like a way they're playing a game of political chicken right here. you heard the president and house speaker come in front of cameras within two hours of each other. both men were really talking against each other. it was not very optimistic. you're right, optimism of earlier in the week dissipated. take a listen to what both men said. well, we don't have that sound. both men really talking against each other there. here's the sound. >> the president's offer of $1.3 trillion in revenues and $850
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billion in spending reductions fails to meet a balanced approach. i hope that the president will get serious soon about providing and working with us on a balanced approach. >> at some point there's got to be i think a recognition on the part of my republican friends that take the deal. you know, they will be able to claim that they have worked with me over the last two years to reduce the deficit more than any other deficit reduction package. >> the president made his comments after an event on gun control after an announcement on gun control. mr. boehner, his news conference lasted 56 seconds. he stormed off after making his comments. does he have the votes for plan b? also, where do the negotiations for a wider settlement stand?
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of course, if will is no agreement by the end of the year, the country falls off the fiscal cliff, that means higher taxes for almost all americans and massive spending cuts. >> the other question is how do americans feel about this? and you have brand new poll numbers to share with us. i can only imagine. >> we do have brand new poll numbers. this is a national poll coming out right now at this hour. as other polls indicated, americans are siding more with the democrats. take a look at this. which party should compromise more to get a wider deal, to get bipartisan solutions? nor people say the republicans should compromise than the democrats. and who would be more responsible if the fiscal cliff occurs? the so-called blame game. once again, more people would blame republicans. 48% say republicans and congress would be to blame. 38% say the president. 1% say both sides would be at blame. >> again, 12 days to go before that fiscal cliff. paul steinhouser flif washington, thank you. other big news in washington. they're dealing with the fallout from that report on benghazi.
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one state department official resigned, three others on disciplinary administrative leave after a review cited systemic failures in leadership and management deficiencies. tuesday department officials are set to testify at 8:00 a.m. eastern time this morning. and we now know that next month secretary of state hillary clinton will testify before the house foreign affairs committee about the attacks on benghazi as one of her advisors told the chairwoman of the panel. clinton is said to be feeling better after suffering concussion in a fainting spell. that's good news. seven minutes past the hour. president obama is now declaring a gun control or that gun control is a issue in his second term. he insists he'll use all the powers his presidency to push through meaningful reforms. >> the vast majority of responsible law abiding gun owners would be some of first to
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say we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law breaking few from buying a weapon of war. i'm willing to bet that they don't think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas. >> he also said that the dialogue, he'll have dialogue but he's not going to have a lot of dialogue. he's going to push things through very quickly. vice president biden is tapped to spear head to push new gun control laws through congress. >> he wants them back next month. south korea elected its first female president. park is the daughter of a military dig dater. park is promising greater engagement with north korea. >> it is show time for u.p.s. today's peak shipping day will be the busiest in its history. the men and women in brown will deliver 28 million packages in the united states. that's about 300 parcells every second, folks.
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tomorrow is the deadline. >> it feels like they're shipping a lot of coal to washington right now with this fiscal cliff thing. check your stockings there in washington for that. it is nine minutes after the hour. detectives investigating the newtown school shooting retracing the steps of the gunman's mother in the days before the attack. we'll tell what you they found. >> and the new trend among america's teenagers that you parents are going to want to hear about. ♪ [ male announcer ] how could a luminous protein in jellyfish,
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get selsun blue for itchy dry scalp. strong itch-fighters target scalp itch while 5 moisturizers leave hair healthy. selsun blue. got a clue? get the blue. we have new details leading up to thetown massacre. the mother was in new hampshire taking a vacation the days before. she felt comfortable enough to leave her son adam lanza alone to for three days. the morning after her return, she was dead. take a look at this photo. all but one of the students in
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this first grade class picture, they were killed. all but one. another reminder of the enormity of this tragedy. and there is no end to the outpouring of emotions. some 3,000 people gathering in western connecticut university to mourn and honor all of the victims. san drashgs more victims being laid to rest today. >> reporter: that's right, john. five more funerals today for the victims of the newtown shooting. three children and two adults. 6-year-old allison wyatt, 6-year-old benjamin wheeler, 6-year-old catherine hubbard and teachers lauren rousso and ann marie murphy will be laid to rest today. being here for several days now, john, we have seen processions and funeral arrangements and these rituals have become a way of life here in newtown. and very sad. you can see the private pain becoming very public shared grief for this community and
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being felt around the country, actually, as more and more people come to newtown to pay their respects. you mentioned a big tribute last night. 3,000 people gathered in a neighboring town to memorialize the victims of this tragedy. they came together, trying to be uplifting, to offer comfort and support for the residents here in newtown. again, the funeral pro sections coming through town has unfortunately become a way of life here and will continue for days to come. john? >> and tomorrow, sandra, of course, is the one week anniversary of the shooting. what's being planned for that? >> reporter: obviously, it's going to be a very sad day for residents here as they remember the exact time, 9. 30678 9:30 is when the gun shots rang out. to commemorate that moment in time, we understand that church bells across this area will ring 26 times, 20 times for the children who were killed and six
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times for the teachers and the staff and the faculty members who died in that tragedy. so, again, a very important moment for this town as they reflect on what happened here a week ago. >> that's right. another day of reflection, another somber moment for newtown, connecticut. san drashgs thanks very much. later i have a story, three of the little girls that were killed attended this dance studio. and these teenagers actually taught them dance classes and summer classes. so they wanted to remember the girls in a positive light. and so they share all these amazing stories. we're going to bring that to you shortly here. it is 15 minutes past the hour. let's get you up to date. christine romans has the top stories. the top story, weather. the season as first major winter storm dumping a foost snow. up to a foot of snow in the great planes. a live picture to you from our affiliate wisn in milwaukee. also a stretch of interstate 70 had to be shut down in both directions from colorado to kansas. a blizzard warning is in effect in half a dozen states.
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in a rare move, president obama phoned the secretary of army to personally express concern about reports of abuse at the daycare center at ft. mier in virginia. this week two workers at that facility were charged with assaulting a child. and a review of all the workers there found several with questionable backgrounds including records of sexual abuse of a minor, sexual assault, and assault. an annual survey of drug abuse among teenagers finds that marijuana use leveled off after rising stead fli that age-group for four years in a row. for example, the study called monitoring the future finds of 6.5% of 12th graders say they smoke marijuana daily. that is down slightly from last year. remember this picture of the monkey in the jacket in an ikea earlier this month? the woman who owns the animal will be in court today trying to get darwin back. the owner claims toronto animal services seized him illegally after he got out of her car.
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he's been living in an animal sanction wary since then. >> i wonder if he kept the coat? >> a horse in palm beach, florida, jumped a fence, took a dip in a swimming pool. veterinarians gave the 30-year-old horse a sedative. firefighters attached a harn toes andy and used a tow truck to lift him out of the pool. when it's all over, andy didn't have a scratch on him. had a nice refreshing dip in the pool. >> i'm sure he enjoyed every moment of it. >> all right. 17 minutes after the hour. time for your early reads. the local newsmaking national headlines this morning. we're going to start with the tampa bay times. guns were pulled off the shelves of a lone star pawnshop after the sandy hook school shooting. the owner says he'll lose half of his business but he's doing this for his daughters. >> my daughter at this point associates firearms with evil people because of what she sees
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on tv and what she sees at school. my conscience overrides the need to make the money. he also said he couldn't bear think about selling the gun that might end up being used in another massacre. thousands of miles away, but hitting a little too close to home, the sacramento bet talks about a marine who called himself to duty. called himself to duty to guard an elementary school in modesto. he was responding to a facebook post urging soldiers to be posted at every school, of course, in the wake of last week's tragic shooting. another retired marine dug his fatigues out of the attic and answered the call in tennessee. he wasn't getting paid and he was not armed. several parents came up thanking him for his service. and for stepping up to make the children feel safe. >> it is a statement though, that has come to this. >> yeah. i know. i know. i'm grateful that they're doing. that for an expanded look at our top stories, head to our blog. can you also follow us on twitter and on facebook. just search for early start/cnn.
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>> as our leaders in washington bicker at the edge of the fiscal cliff, your tax returns hang in the balance. find out what happens to them if there is no deal. we'll tell you about it coming up. it ain't pretty. make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today. on any new volkswagen. progressive direct and other car insurance companies? yes. but you're progressive, and they're them. yes. but they're here. yes. are you...? there? yes. no. are you them? i'm me. but those rates are for... them. so them are here. yes! you want to run through it again? no, i'm good. you got it?
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good morning, new york. look at that great shot. come over after two strong days of gains, u.s. markets closed lower yesterday. stock futures are down this morning as fiscal cliff talks stall in washington. >> so here's the deal. you can see a delay in getting your tax refund next year unless congress moves on the fiscal cliff soon. this is going to hurt all of us. christine has details. >> we're already there. tax season starts in a couple weeks. you're going to start getting 1099s at the end of january and you have companies -- the government can't change in just one week or two weeks. if you're talking about having to make retro active tax changes, i mean it's really a
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mess. i want to talk about the amt in particular here. you know, the irs acting director warned congress about a real problem with not passing an amt patch. if the amt patch goes away, every year we patch this amt. amt was meant to make sure that rich people paid a minimum amount of tax now because of the way congress designed it in the infinite black wisdom. it gets middle class people every year. there is a patch to make sure you don't get slammed with amt. 30 million more people would pay the amt. 100 million tax refunds would be delayed. stephen miller sent a letter to the house and senate. tax writers saying this is going to be unexpectedly higher taxes for many taxpayers who simply aren't aware of their new tax liability. it will be a total and complete mess. 100 million tax refunds delayed, 30 million more people have to pay the amt. >> you've been looking into the business of guns all week. there is just fascinating stuff going on. >> a billion dollars in profit this year.
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one forecast, a billion dollars in profit this year for this industry. kint ov i can't overstate how big, powerful and profitable it is to make the guns you're looking at on your screen. the traditional bolt action rifles and guns you think as a big part of the industry, the fastest growing part of the market are the sport rifles. there is a coolness and hipness factor in owning the military style rifles. there is huge soaring demand for those. there are more gun shops in america than there are super markets and mcdonald's restaurants locations combined. think of the impact of this part of the -- you don't talk about it every day. it's a huge industry. it is prevalent. when we were putting the statistics together, i see mcdonald's everywhere. i don't see gun shops everywhere. but i'm not looking for it. i mean it's just a pervasive part of the american culture. we are the leader in guns. we own more guns than any other country in the world.
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and we lead the world in gun violence as well. gun stocks yesterday by the way bounced back. i told you they were three hard days for the gun makers. yesterday investors said these have been punished enough. now we see value again in these stocks. in part because sales are up. it's been a ten-yaer trend of rising sales. sails right n sales are up right now as people want to protect themselves and get ahead of what they think could be restrictions coming down the line. so big bounces back for the stocks. i told you yesterday the smith & wesson had a record second quarter for profit. when you look at gun sales over the past decade, as the economy moved side ways, gun sales have been up, up, up. it's been a really powerful industry. and a profitable, profitable industry. investors make make $1 billion this year. >> remember tim tebow? >> who?
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>> the jets seemed to have forgotten about last year's nfl sensation. we'll take a closer look coming up. i feel bad. nyquil what are you ? [ nyquil bottle ] just reading your label. wait...you relieve nasal congestion? sure don't you? [ nyquil bottle ] dude! [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't. as part of a heart healthy diet. that's true. ...but you still have to go to the gym. ♪ the one and only, cheerios
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a winter blast just before get away day. snow falling from kansas to wisconsin with blizzard warnings in effect. >> tiny dancers taken way too soon. ballet instructors share memories of three talented young victims of the newtown tragedy. >> search for answers in the benghazi attack. twin hearings on capitol hill amid word of a shake-up at the state department. welcome back to "early start,"
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everyone. i'm john berman. >> 30 minutes past the hour. we're going to talk about holiday travel plans for millions of you. >> screwed up. >> it could be on hold this morning thanks to a huge winter storm that is whipping throughout midwest. there is a blizzard warning in effect for half a dozen states. take a look at. that the storms stretching from colorado to wisconsin. some folks in chicago are on my facebook this morning saying it is awful there. the rocky mountain state will be battered. 156-mile stretch of i-70en with colorado and kansas sut down in both directions by heavy snow. that was yesterday. this system is packing wind gusts over 60 miles an hour. parts of iowa could see a foot of snow or more today. wow. it is so bad, in fact, that the governor of wisconsin has already declared a state of emergency in his state. meteorologist alexandra steel is live from the weather center. my goodness. what else is in store for today? >> let's talk about what we saw yesterday. we talked about denver and what happened in texas with that
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blinding dust storm. all right. this is what it looked like through colorado. colorado yesterday one of the hardest hit places on i-70. today, it's i-80 through iowa. literally iowa virtually shut down today. blizzard conditions really will prevail throughout much of the day. here's a look at what we have. hastings, nebraska, yesterday, eight inches of snow. today, this morning the snow is over. but 35 mile-per-hour wind gusts. blowing snow. temperature right now feeling like 5 degrees below zero. so behind the snow, incredibly blustery and cold. the story for today will be really phase two of this storm. we're going to watch the snow move in. snow gets heavier. accumulation totals get into the double digits. and the winds get even more powerful. you know, we talked about chicago, 7:00 tonight we're going to watch that rain in chicago change over to snow. and then the wins gear on up to get to 50 mile per hour gusts. sustained in the 20s and 30s. so an awful night tonight to travel in chicago.
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tomorrow morning, here's where we're seeing the rain. there is even a severe side to this. so tomorrow morning in new york, in washington, baltimore, all these airports tomorrow morning just slammed with very heavy rain. not snow, just rain. and then friday moves out the afternoon except for boston and northern new england. but still, behind it, cold and windy. no matter where you are in the midwest or northeast. so that's how we're going to see this thing move through today. but there is also a severe weather impact today. tornado watches now issued through noon. we're going to see that south of atlanta, charleston, probably atlanta could be into potentially very strong storms today. >> all right. alexandra steel live in atlanta, thank you. >> there is a lot going on in washington today. a hearing in the deadly benghazi consulate incident. this after a review of this indei incident. three more people are on administrative leave from the state department. this independent review examining september's attack blamed systemic failures in
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leadership and management deficiencies. the review found a lack of leadership left the u.s. consulate insecure and vulnerable. u.s. ambassador to libya and three other americans were killed in the attack on september 11th. our foreign affairs reporter has the latest on this. you know, yesterday it said no one, you know, breeched their duty. you had a sense some heads were going to roll inside the state department. >> that's right. it's a major shake-up, john. even though the panel found that these people didn't legally breech their duty, they found deficiencies and they identified in the report four individuals, the assistant secretary of state for diplomatic security eric boswell, his deputy charlene lamb if you remember was sicite in a lot of documents for denying security requests and another gentleman raymond maxwell at the policy shop which the panel showed didn't show a lack of ownership of the issues
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and another gentleman in the diplomatic security department. it's really, you know, i think there could be more heads to roll, if you will. >> so this is, in fact, a big broad shake-up. interesting you say that there could be more from this coming up. two state department officials are testifying on capitol hill today, correct? >> that's right. the deputy secretaries of state, as you know, secretary clinton still suffering from a concussion and won't testify. but very interesting who's going to be chairing the meeting. the current chairman of the senate foreign relations committee john kerry who is tapped to be the next secretary of state. so it's going to be a difficult balance while he has to be hard on these gentlemen, but also show a little support to the department which he did yesterday. let's take a listen. >> i think that the department has taken a huge step forward to address lessons learned from benghazi which are important to everybody. you know, there's 70,000
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employees over there. there are 275 different posts. it's a dangerous world we're in. i think that this report is going to significantly advance the security interests of those personnel and of our country. >> a lot of questions still, john, about whether secretary clinton will testify. we understand her staff has told congressional committees she will be back in january and is prepared to give testimony herself. >> all right. thank you very much. 35 minutes past the hour. 12 days inform the fiscal cliff and negotiations are the a stalemate. there is growing ranker between president obama and john boehner. he ups the ante when he calls for plan b which extends the bush era tax cuts on incomes under $1 million. he promises to veto the bill if it ever reaches his desk and to complicate matters. it's no the clear he even has votes to pass plan bs there a
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way to untangle this mess? is that my first question for you? can you untangle the mess? >> personally, i don't think i can do it. what happened to the optimism from earlier this week? both gentlemen making comments yesterday and both seem to be playing a political game of chicken in a way. the president after making gun control comments, he talked about the fiscal cliff about two hours later the house speaker went in front of cameras for 56 seconds before walking off. here's a taste of what both men said. >> tomorrow the house will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every american. 99.81% of the american people. then the president will have a decision to make. he can call on senate democrats to pass that bill or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in history. >> at some point they have to take me out of it.
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take out their votes and think about what's best for the country. if they do that, if they're not worried about who's winning and who's losing, i think we can get this done. >> the big question, as you said, does house speaker john boehner have enough support from his own coalition from his own party to pass plan b today and will plan b derail the negotiations for the larger deals to try to avert the fiscal cliff. >> you know, you're not giving yourself enough credit. you could untangle this mess. you just don't have the power to do it. you have new polling data for us this morning on how americans feel about this? >> yeah, a brand new poll. we asked americans which party's policies are too extreme? take a look at these numbers. they're very interesting. more people say the republican party has too extreme views and opinions. 53%, only 37% say that about the democrats. a different story two years ago.
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one other number to look at in the fiscal cliff negotiations, approval ratings for both men. look at the approval rating for the president, 52%. the house speaker, his approval rating is lower at 34%. those numbers are interesting as both men try to negotiate to avert the fiscal cliff. >> thank you. it is 38 minutes after the hour now. coming up, gone but never forgotten in newtown, connecticut. the conversation with three of the young victims. instead of focusing on how they died, she's chosen to take inspiration from how they lived. , there's big news. presenting androgel 1.62%. both are used to treat men with low testosterone. androgel 1.62% is from the makers of the number one prescribed testosterone replacement therapy. it raises your testosterone levels, and... is concentrated, so you could use less gel. and with androgel 1.62%, you can save on your monthly prescription.
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what are you waiting for? why they have a raise your rate cd. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally. is the same frequent heartburn treatment as prilosec otc. now with a fancy coating that gives you a burst of wildberry flavor. now why make a flavored heartburn pill? because this is america. and we don't just make things you want, we make things you didn't even know you wanted. like a spoon fork. spray cheese. and jeans made out of sweatpants. so grab yourself some new prilosec otc wildberry. [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.
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welcome back. we continue to learn more about the young victims and their lives and extra curricular activities outside of their schools. three of the young girls, jessica ricos, charlotte bacon and olivia wrangle were students at dance et cetera. i had a chance to talk with their dance teacher and some of
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the teenage girls who helped give lessons to those little girls. >> memories from a dance troop of three little dancers. >> there's a pit in my stomach. >> when the dance teacher heard about the shooting, she ran to her studio to check the student roster. >> and then when i finally got to the office, i combed through to see who was 5. at that time they were saying it was a kindergarten class and would was 6. >> on saturday, her worst fears confirmed. charlotte bacon, olivia wrangle and ricos were all dead. where were you when you found out the names? >> i was here. >> you were here? >> i was here. >> so was i. >> we all were here. >> saturday. >> we kept classes and rehearsals going. >> to keep everything as normal
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as possible. >> how did you get through that? >> it was hard. the little girls were all with us and we were trying to stay strong for them and not show all the motions we were feeling. it was so hard. >> especially knowing that some of the children they were teach hg lived through the trauma of the day before. yet amazed by their resilience. >> we tried to keep details from the conversations with the little ones. but to keep it honest and let them know why we're sad. and then they would give us a hug. >> owe live why and charlotte were part of the dance school's musical theater program. olivia loved to sing "good morning baltimore" from "hair spray." >> i'm heard the expression of a smile from ear to ear. she had this beautiful smile and her cheeks, like, those cute baby cheeks. you just want to go grab them. >> charlotte just had such a big personality. you know, even when we were singing in theater class, she
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would be acting out what we were saying. she made up her own little dances every time we were singing our songs. and she would just so spunky and full of energy. >> jessica, they remember, as a focused and determined little ballet dancer. >> it was 9:15 in the morning. i didn't want to get up. i remember her walking in and her smile and hearing her laugh and just having her hugs around me just so tight. >> the girls know there will be more hard days ahead. >> it doesn't seem real yet. and i don't think it will until we have that musical theater class again and i realize they're not going to walk through that door anymore and we'll never get to hear them sing. >> the young dancers believe their art will help them get through this. >> we will. we will dance every dance we perform. we will sing every song that we sing and remember them and know that they're souls are here with
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us. and that they always will be. and, you know, in our darkest of time, there will be a light shining on our path. and our light will be jessica, charlotte and olivia. >> i have to tell you, originally we were just supposed to talk to jen. jen said the girls need a voice. they need to talk about these little girls. they need to share their memories because it's part of their healing process. and as difficult as that was, john, to sit down for the girls, the laughter that they were having remembering these little girls and keeping their memory alive the way that their parents would want to keep ate live and the way that they need to was really, you know, it was really something they needed. they all walked out in a better mood. >> it is very moving. just as a reminder, every aspect of life in this town going on in the weeks, days and months, there will be an absence. every new thing that happens, there is an absence everywhere they go. >> all the teenagers there don't live in the communities. they're in neighboring communities. yet, they're all tied in to
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somebody. they know somebody who died. so it really the extended family all over the place that is really reeling with pain. and i'm glad that we had an opportunity to share, you know, these little girls' lives because they really did have full lives, full of beautiful lives. >> nice to see. all right, we'll be right back. i can't stop eating 'em! what's...that... on your head? can curlers! tomato basil, potato with bacon... we've got a lot of empty cans. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery. i'm going to dream about that steak. i'm going to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh?
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but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today.
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thnch . this is a live picture of milwaukee. i hef 70 in colorado reopened in both directions last night much the storm expected to dump a foot of snow in some places from the rocky mountain state as far north as wisconsin. that is milwaukee. it's coming down. 36,000 people without power right now in des moines, by the way. 35-car pile yurp on tup on the d express way left one person dead. the chain reaction car crash start the when a tractor-trailer struck several cars and then caught on fire. the expressway was shut down for hours in both directions while police carried out their investigation.
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phoenix plans to add an important addition to the skyline. it's going to build an observation tower that will reach 420 feet into the sky, accessed by glass elevators. it will provide visitors with panoramic views of the city and surrounding mountains much the developer hopes the tower becomes a symbol of phoenix and destination for tourists. >> interesting design. >> i know. it really is. have you ever seen a sand storm in phoenix? it will be cool to see a sand storm from that tower. >> thank you so much, christine. all right. so you were waiting for the day that tim tebow would be a starting nfl quarterback. you're going to have to wait a little bit longer. the quarterback question for the struggling jets has been resolved. tim tebow is not the answer. >> tim can play, you know, quarterback through our traditional things. but to me, i was just -- i just kind of made a decision that in
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my gut i feel best thing for our football team is for greg to be our quarterback now. >> so the greg he's talking about is greg mcelroy who will start in place of the struggling mark sanchez. mcelroy leap-frogged tebow to go from the third string to starter leaving t-boy with the clipboard still. >> tim tebow is not happy about this. "the new york daily news" is reporting that he will ask to be traded when the season is over. there is so much to talk about here that is why we're so glad we're joined by our anchor from "sports illustrated".com. what's going on here? they traded for this guy. big splash. and they just don't want to put him on the field. >> it finally turned into the complete circus that we all thought that it was going to be at the beginning of the season. but you have to look at what the jets their future, they're putting greg mcelroy on the field. writing is on the wall at this point. tebow is not back in 2013.
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that's pretty much proven by this move. can you almost put it in stone that he'll not be back next year. they want to see if greg mcelroy can challenge for that starting quarterback job with mark sanchez and maybe another veteran quarterback that would bring in to have a true quarterback competition in the jets locker room. tebow out the door. >> there are a lot of people surprised he was ever even there. there is a high ranking nfl personnel evaluator who spoke on condition of anonymity. and he said tebow attempts to play quarterback despite poor footwork, throwing platforms, release timing and progression and he goes on and on. so not as surprising, right? >> it's surprising. he was number two on the depth chart all year long. and you try to put him in the nontraditional offensive packages, it just wasn't working. you could tell things were coming out from practice, tebow didn't look so good. the jets lost faith in him. if you're going to go with tim tebow like the denver broncos did last year, you have to
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completely l lly tailor make hi defense around him. you have to throw out your entire game plan and put in one specifically for tebow. we saw it work last year in denver. but they ended up getting rid of him. you need to have an offensive coordinator or team that is committed to running that offense or else it's not going to work. >> just one little comment from tim tebow. he said in response, some things are hard to understand. they're trying to do the best they k and i understand that. which is about as angry as you ever see tim tebow. >> right. those are fighting words. i mean whatever you think about tim tebow, whatever you think about his ability to be a quarterback, no one can deny he has been the epitome of class during this entire debacle. they put him on punt coverages. i mean this is a guy who is a first round draft pick, a starter last year, led six game winning drives and led the
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broncos to the playoffs last year. he was on punt coverages. he had to gain 20 pounds. he had to change the entire way he plays. he's been nothing but class. >> they got what they wanted. they're on the back page of the tabloid. >> that is true. >> maggie gray, thanks for being with us this morning. so we have a packed hour ahead on "early start" including sending children to school in body armor. sales of things like bullet proof backpacks are surging 500% after the tragedy. but parents and the company selling it are saying. >> and a giant winter storm is threatening travel plans across the country. whether you're planning to fly or hit the road or even if you had a sleigh it would be hard. how much snow can you expect? we're tracking the storm live. >> sanchez in jeopardy? not yet. plus, nasa's new threads. the space suit of the next generation that might make you say to infinity and beyond. >> love how you say. that. >> but first, we knew it all along. the truth behind this viral video of an eagle swooping down
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and snatching a baby. we'll tell you about it coming up. excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to power down your little word game. i think your friends will understand. oh no, it's actually my geico app...see? ...i just uh paid my bill. did you really? from the plane? yeah, i can manage my policy, get roadside assistance, pretty much access geico 24/7. sounds a little too good to be true sir. i'll believe that when pigs fly. ok, did she seriously just say that? geico. just click away with our free mobile app.
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welcome back, everyone. it is 58 minutes after the hour. or two minutes before the hour if you use that. john berman here. taking a look at the top cnn trends on the web this morning. >> i'm impressed you can think that fast. >> just like that i figured that out. >> it's one of the videos that looks too strange to be true. guess what? it is. take a look. it looks like an eagle swoopes out of the air, picks up a baby and then drops him. so turns out that's really a well done fake. it is orchestrated by students studying 3-d animation in
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montreal. they made the baby and the eagle. can you believe it? >> that is impressive stuff. >> brilliant, kids. brilliant. >> i wonder if that whole lord of the rings things was made up. >> coming up on "starting point," we'll talk to the three students behind the hoax that are now soaking up the viral fame. love. that. >> they deserve some. friendly neighborhood spiderman dropping by the oval office. this is a picture of president obama playing with a kid in a spiderman costume that is spreading all over the web. it is just phenomenal. we're seeing more and more of these things. the white house is trying to show the lighter side of the prs facebook and twitter accounts yesterday. you know, you can't mess with spider-man. your spider sense is tingling. >> you know you guys are all just grown-up kids. "early start" continues right now.
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good morning, everyone. john berman along with soar riae s sambolin. a tornado warning in mobile, alabama. let's go right to alexandria to tell us more about this. >> good morning, guys. this is all part of the same blizzard that we're seeing, of course, through iowa and wisconsin. on the southern side of this incredibly energetic system we have severe weather and the threat of it through the day. here's where that tornado warning is. this is the cell, this very strong thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado. the cell moving northeast at 45 miles per hour with its sights set on mobile. so this cell moving northeast 45 miles per hour, tornado warning for mobile county. actually in the whole southeast we do have a threat and a tornado watch posted through noon this afternoon. so again, in the southeast, this very voracious system. but on the northern tier of it we saw the video and have seen it throughout the day, yesterday
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what happened in colorado. the storm system now is moving east. here's where the really quadrant of concern is. iowa, you can see right i-80 through des moines, biggest cities impacted today, des moines, madison, green bay and then chicago late tonight. the swath where the heaviest snow will be, you can see it delineated in the purple between about 10 and 12 inches of snow. so this is really phase two of this storm. we saw the snow. today we'll see more snow. we saw the winds yesterday and last night. we'll see stronger winds today. so it's kind of even energizing further still. here's the radar picture, the northern tier, but of course where the snow is and the blizzard conditions. this is the swath of that. we do have blizzard warnings in six states meaning the snow is coming down but it's the invisibility and incredibly strong winds that make this a poirlous sca o perilous scenario today. there's that severe side from chicago all the way down to st.
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louis. again, green bay to des moines, that's where we'll see a foot of snow today coupled with incredible winds that we'll see throughout the day pick up in earnest through tonight in chicago. >> all that snow coming down is taking down power lines as well. there are 36,000 people without power in iowa this morning. thank you for that. we'll continue checking back in with you. >> and the weather system is causing a tornado warning in mobile, alabama. so guys, if you are down there, stay alert. other news, president obama and house speaker john boehner butting heads over the fiscal cliff negotiations. only 12 days to go now and it seems like a political stalemate has set in. the president has challenged republicans to, quote, take the deal and stop finding ways to say no to him. meantime the speaker intends to put his plan b up to a vote in the house today. this would extend the bush-era tax cuts on incomes up to $100 million. if it passes and senate democrats block it, which they
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will, boehner says the president will become responsible for the tax hikes when the nation goes over the fiscal cliff. that's what boehner is trying to suggest here. the president suggests otherwise. paul steinhauser is in washington this morning. whatever progress we had seemed to have stopped short. >> reporter: yeah, the optimism has gone away and both men are playing a political game of chicken. the president making his fiscal cliff comments after announcing some gun control efforts. john boehner coming in front of cameras two hours later. he spoke for 56 seconds before leaving. here's a taste of what both men said. >> the president's offer of $1.3 trillion in revenues and $850 billion in spending reductions fails to meet the test that the president promised the american people, a balanced approach. and i hope the president will get serious soon about providing and working with us on a balanced approach. >> you know, at some point
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there's got to be, i think, a recognition on the part of my republican friends that -- take the deal. you know, they will be able to claim that they have worked with me over the last two years to reduce the deficit more than any other deficit reduction package. >> reporter: the big question for today, of course, does john boehner have enough support from his own party to pass his plan b and will plan b basically side track negotiations for a larger settlement. john, as you know, if there's no agreement by the end of the year, that means basically tax cutin -- or tax increases for all americans. >> yesterday paul brown from georgia told me he was leaning against voting for it. he is a very conservative republican. however, the speaker may have some cover from grover norquist who says that republicans can go ahead and vote for it if they
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want. on the subject of public opinion, though, we have some brand spanking new poll numbers to talk about how americans feel about all this. >> reporter: we do. these numbers are interesting and they also indicate that americans seem to be backing the democrats more or at least feel more in favor of what the democrats are doing than republicans. take a look at this first number. which party should compromise more? americans feel the republicans should. also who would be more responsible if there's no deal. more people would blame the republicans in congress. only 38% blaming the president, about one in ten blaming both sides. >> again, if you're looking ahead to the big events today, it is this house vote on speaker boehner's plan b. thanks, paul. today the fallout from that damning report on benghazi. one state department official has resigned, three others on disciplinary administrative leave, this after an independent review examining september's
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attack cited systemic failures in leadership and management deficiencies. two state department officials are set to testify before house and senate committees at 8:00 a.m. eastern. we know next month secretary of state hillary clinton will testify before the house foreign affairs committee about the attacks in benghazi. that's what one of her advisers told the chairwoman of the panel. clinton is said to be feeling better after suffering a concussion and a fainting spell. less than a week after the newtown school shooting tragedy, president obama is declaring gun control a central issue of his second term. he's plans to bring sweeping new gun control proposals next month. he will use all the powers of his presidency to enact meaningful reforms with the vice president leading the charge. >> this is not some washington commission. this is a team that has a very specific task, to pull together real reforms right now. >> the team consists of
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officials from the justice department, homeland security, health and human services and the department of education. detectives investigating the newtown school shooting retracing the steps now of the gunman's mother in the days right before the attack. what they found coming up. plus gun violence and the tale of two different societies. one reporter shares her unique perspective. it will make you stop and think. that's just ahead. [ nyquil bottle ] hey tylenol, you know we're kinda like twins. [ tylenol bottle ] we are? yeah we both relieve coughs, sneezing, aches, fevers. and i relieve nasal congestion. overachiever.
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new details coming to light about the days leading up to the newtown massacre. friends of nancy lanza, the shooter's mother, saying she was in new hampshire taking a vacation at a hotel. that's about a four-hour drive from newtown. they say she felt comfortable enough to leave him alone for three days. the morning after her return is when she was found dead. take a look at this photo. all but one of the students in this first grade class picture were killed. the little girl in the middle played dead. another reminder of the enormity of this tragedy. and there's no ebld to the outpouring of support. people gathering to mourn and honor the victims. sandra endo is following all of the developments for us. good morning to you, sandra. >> reporter: good morning,
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zoraida. five more funerals here today in newtown. three children and two teachers. 6-year-old allison wyatt, 6-year-old benjamin wheeler, 6-year-old catherine hubbard, lauren rousseau and lauren murphy will all be laid to rest here. last night we saw lines wrapped around churches in the freezing cold. people waiting in line to say their final goodbyes and that, unfortunately, has become the daily ritual here in newtown, zoraida. a lot of people still wondering why, searching for answers. we know from the connecticut state police, they say that the full and complete state police report won't be completed for months because they have to go through the pain staking task of interviewing all the victims. that means the survivors and the children that witnessed the shooting as well. that's certainly going to take some time. it's a very delicate situation, according to law enforcement officials heres are and so they want to make sure they go through the thorough task of
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interviewing everybody. so that will take several months to come, zoraida. >> sandra, tomorrow 9:30 a.m., one week since this tragedy happened. i would imagine that they have something planned to commemorate this. can you tell us about that? >> reporter: absolutely. 9:30 is when the gunshots rang out here in newtown at sandy hook elementary, and the governor here calling for a moment of silence. not just here in connecticut, but across the country in terms of support for the victims and the victims' families. he's also asking area churches to ring their bells 26 times for the victims. so certainly a very important and poignant time for residents here in newtown tomorrow at 9:30. >> sandra, i cannot tell you how grateful we are to have you out there. thank you for that. john? >> these are some statistics that a lot of people of talking about. in 2008 japan had just 11 gun-related murders. the u.s., 12,000.
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so should america look to other countri countries' gun policies now? we have someone with a unique perspective on this. cnn's own kyung lah. >> reporter: i moved back to the u.s. this summer. for the last five years, i was living in japan as cnn's tokyo correspondent. in that entire time, i never covered a shooting. there weren't any. this is my third mass shooting i've covered in just six months. >> kyung lah is on the scene for us at that apartment complex. she's got more on this part of the investigation. >> reporter: in this brief time, i've heard this question again and again by those victimized, most recently from a frustrated newtown resident. >> why are we so different from so many other industrialized countries that have so little gun violence and we are just -- what makes us so different? why is that? >> reporter: i don't have the answer, but i can compare japan and the u.s. in japan, there are almost no
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guns. the average person just can't get one. and i have to tell you, it's the safest place i've ever lived. here in the u.s., gun ownership is considered normal. 40% of americans own one. there are enough guns here to arm every single man, woman and child, about 300 million firearms. but these mass shootings, which are now a part of our american narrative, follow a familiar pattern. the shock, national outrage, memorials, funerals. then the conversation fades. the rest of the world wonders why. >> i've seen too many of these massacres. i've been here for 12 years and there is never anything more than a brief conversation. and i think people outside of america just can't understand that. >> reporter: but it's not all about guns. remember japan's tsunami. in the wake of the disaster, people lined up for food and water. there was never any violence, no rioting, no crime. it's about society. individual rights are second to
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the community's needs in japan. here in the united states, the constitution, including the second amendment, is considered sacrosanct. we saz americans prize freedom, the good and the bad. >> it's about freedom. freedom works both ways, you know. if americans would waive their freedom to buy any kind of guns any time, anywhere in any situation, then that would have given these kids at the elementary school the freedom to live. >> reporter: i met these three men who fought for freedom in iraq and afghanistan. these men of war were so disturbed by the newtown shootings that they came here on their day off to donate christmas trees at the town hall. they wonder what is this national security that they're fighting so hard for? >> to come home to what you think is safe and to experience the same thing here, it's troubling and it's -- it brings such sorrow to everyone, the whole army. >> reporter: none of us have the answer, but maybe the deaths of
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the shooter's mother, 20 innocent children and their brave teachers will this time keep a vital american conversation going. kyung lah, cnn, newtown, connecticut. tonight our guest, thomas sargent. nobel laureate in economics, and one of the most cited economists in the world. professor sargent, can you tell me what cd rates will be in two years? no. if he can't, no one can. that's why ally has a raise your rate cd. ally bank. your money needs an ally.
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welcome back. right now the season's first major winter storm is dumping up to a foot of snow in the midwest and great plains. this blizzard has knocked out power to tens of thousands in iowa this morning. a blizzard warning is in effect in half a dozen states and 36,000 people are already without power waking up in the des moines area this morning. a wannabe terrorist who didn't have the cash or the bomb. a 20-year-old florida man in jail on terror charges this morning. federal prosecutors say he wanted to attack a landmark in new york to avenge deaths in afghanistan, but he didn't have the money or the materials to make it happen. he is a u.s. citizen who was born in pakistan. his brother was also arrested.
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there are stronger privacy protection this morning for children who go online. the federal trade commission updated privacy rules to make it harder for companies to collect personal data when children use websites, mobile phones, apps, smartphones or tablets. parents have greater control over their children's information. it's show time for u.p.s. the carrier says today's peak shipping day will be the busiest in its history. the men and women in brown will deliver 28 million packages in the u.s. that's about 300 every second. tomorrow is the deadline to make sure your gifts arrive by christmas eve. sometimes a horse just wants to take a little dip. of course getting him out of the pool is another story. firefighters in palm beach county, florida, had quite a challenge after a horse jumped a fence and wound up in the pool. after given a sedative, firefighters used a harness and tow truck to pull him out of the water. he is just fine.
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a second-grade teacher in rhode island said school officials didn't let him speak at a meeting so he spoke through youtube. >> i've had it. i quit. i would rather leave my secure $70,000 job with benefits and tutoring connecticut for free. >> that's stephen round. he said the providence school system is turning students into good test takers rather than good learners. >> i think the video explains it all. it was purely frustration. it just got to the point where i can't stand by and watch kids not learn. and i have the key to help them and the administration won't let me use it. >> providence school officials say they're sorry that he wasn't satisfied but they didn't comment on the specifics of that resignation. "early start" is back in 60 seconds.
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new york, new york. >> good morning. how are you this morning? >> the financial center of the universe. we are minding your business this morning. after two strong days of gains, u.s. markets closed lower yesterday and stock futures are flat again this morning as these fiscal cliff talks in washington seem to be going nowhere. >> aren't you tired of it? 100 million people could see a delay in getting their tax refunds unless congress moves on the fiscal cliff soon. christine has the details. >> the urgency is felt among small business owners, big business owners, payroll software companies, the irs, anybody who has to handle a paycheck or a tax return for next year. look, the tax season starts in just a few weeks and we don't
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know if there's going to be another amt patch, the alternative minimum tax. this will affect millions and millions of people. what is that amt? this was a tax designed to make sure that wealthier people paid a minimum amount of tax. because of the way congress designed it so poorly, every year it has to be patched to make sure middle class people don't have to pay a bunch of taxes. 30 million more people would pay the amt if the patch goes away and 100 million tax refunds could be delayed in this crazy tax scramble to figure out what to do after we either go over the cliff or we go over the cliff for a little bit and then the cliff gets fixed. so this is a very big deal. the irs acting director has sent a letter saying there could be lengthy delays of tax refunds and unexpectedly higher taxes for everyone. so that's still a very big problem. amt patch, the drama is just killing me. >> i'm shaking my head because i
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don't think these things are factoring into the negotiations. i simply don't think the politicians are weighing these considerations right now. >> i've been calling it congressional malpractice. i mean they write these laws that are crazy that we have to patch every year and now they can't fix the problem that -- don't get me started. >> since we know you know better, tell us the one thing we need to know about our money. >> home values are up. i'm going to leave you on a high note. home values are up more than 5% this year. the best year for home prices since 2006. the last time home values stood where they are right now, may, 2004. we're going to get existing home sales data at 10:00 a.m. eastern today. here's what you need to know about home prices. places like phoenix, san francisco, san jose, denver, very didn't year for home prices. double-digit price increases. phoenix is up 20% on home prices. philly, atlanta, new york, chicago, these places saw either flat or slightly lower home prices over the last year.
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>> i want to switch gears here in light of what happened in newtown. you've been working really hard on guns. >> i have. i've been looking into the industry. >> a lot of money. >> look, a billion dollar industry. like $3.5 billion in sales. a billion dollars in profit in this industry. fastest growing part of the industry are these tactical rifles. modern hunting rifles. the things like the ar-15 style weapon that was used to kill teachers and children in that school. just a little hint about how pervasive the industry is in our lives. there are more gun dealers in america than there are supermarkets and mcdonald's combined. we buy guns, we have guns, we have the highest number of guns, we have the most gun violence, and the cost of guns, the cdc has tried to figure out how much guns cost. the medical costs of treating fatal gun injuries and the economic damage cost to lives. cdc said 2005 was $37 billion.
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$37 billion. stocks of those gun makers i told you how they have been down for three days. they were all up yesterday. investors are saying, look, people wanting to buy guns, we're armed to the teeth in this country, there's huge demand for it and so investors yesterday were saying that that sell-off in the stocks is over done. >> it's one of those stories that's so difficult to come up with a really good conclusion here. kyung lah had this really great piece on the heels of that. >> an analyst who -- a wall street analyst who covers the gun industry told us there is a hipness and coolness factor to these big magazines and to these what i would call a military-style big semiautomatic rifle. there's a big demand for that kind of gun. regular americans want to own those guns because it's cool. >> christine romans, thanks very much. another big story that we're following at this moment is the weather. i can tell you this, we were telling you about tornado warnings in mobile, alabama. those have expired or are expiring at this point.
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but we're looking at right now pictures from milwaukee, wisconsin, where there is snow on the ground and people covering snow on the ground, as you can see. it's going to get much, much worse there today. we'll tell you how much worse and where else is going to be affected coming up next. this holiday, share everything. share "not even close." share "you owe me..." share "just right." the share everything plan. shareable data across 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. hurry in for a droid razr m by motorola for $49.99. plays a key role throughout our lives. one a day women's 50+ is a complete multivitamin designed for women's health concerns as we age. it has 7 antioxidants to support cell health. one a day 50+.
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a winter blast just before getaway day, folks. snow falling from kansas to wisconsin with blizzard warnings in effect. >> it is getting ugly out there. meanwhile, the search for answers on the benghazi attack. twin hearings today on capitol hill amid word of a shake-up at the state department. plus, has it come to this? bulletproof back packs and body armor for little kids. so really it's an interesting story. we'll share that with you. welcome back to "early start." >> it is nice to see you this morning. it's 31 minutes after the hour. it's nice to see you unless you're stuck somewhere watching
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because you're snowed in. >> at an airport. >> holiday travel plans for millions of americans could be on hold this morning thanks to this huge winter storm that's whipping through the midwest. the blizzard-like conditions have already knocked out power to tens of thousands of people in iowa this morning. there's a blizzard warning in effect for half a dozen states and the storm is stretching from colorado all the way up to wisconsin. the rocky mountain state, colorado, already been battered. 156-mile stretch of i-70 shut down in both directions by the heavy snow yesterday. this storm is packing a lot of wind too. wind gusts 60 miles an hour and higher in some places. parts of iowa, the whole state being hammered, could see a foot or more of snow today. the governor of wisconsin is already declaring a state of emergency there in advance of the storm's arrival. so if you're looking to get out of town before the big holiday rush, good luck. meteorologist alexandria steele is live from the weather center in atlanta. what is in store for us today?
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>> there's so much. this is so incredibly powerful on so many fronts, john. not only the blizzards that we're going to see and have seen through iowa today and also into wisconsin. it's really des moines, green bay, chicago tonight. around 7:00 we'll see this rain change over to snow. but the snow won't be the worst part, it's the 50-mile-per-hour winds. so incredibly tough travel. but also there's a severe side to this. so here's the warm side. along this warm side some incredibly powerful storms as well. already this morning we have had a tornado warning for mobile. you can see this whole thing in the red box is the tornado watch box. it's mississippi, alabama and portions of louisiana. just very strong powerful lines of storms. we had a tornado warning for mobile but right now if you're driving on i-65 toward atmore this is that incredible storm that had that tornado potentially embedded in it.
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so blizzard conditions, near a foot of snow with it. here's the quadrant of it, des moines through green bay. that's where the heaviest snow and blizzard conditions will be today. we'll talk about when it moves out coming up in just a bit. happening today, the women gau -- benghazi consulate incident hits capitol hill. so far there has been one resignation and now three more are on administrative leave at this state department as well. the independent review examining september's attack blamed systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies as well. a lack of leadership left the u.s. consulate insecure and vulnerable. the u.s. ambassador to libya, christopher stevens, and three other americans were killed in that september 11th attack, as you very well know. elise labott has the very latest for us. this is a major shake-up, elise. >> reporter: it is, zoraida, although the report found none
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of the officials were legally in breach of their duty but it found a lack of leadership and recommended that these people have some disciplinary action. that's why the assistant secretary, the top security official at the state department for diplomatic security, eric boswell, resigned. so did his administrative leave, his deputy, charlene lamb who testified before congress and was cited in a lot of documents, denying repeated security requests. so she and some other officials placed on administrative leave. but my understanding is they won't be back at work. >> elise, there are two state department officials that are testifying today. what are we expecting there? >> reporter: well, as you know, it won't be secretary clinton. she was originally scheduled to testify, but she's still suffering from a concussion, so her deputies, bill burns and tom nyes will be testifying before the senate foreign reegsz committee and later this afternoon before the house international affairs committee. very interesting who will be
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chairing that hearing this morning, john kerry the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, tapped to be the next secretary of state booenwe understand. so he's trying to walk a fine line of being tough on these gentlemen and also showing some support for the department. take a listen about what he said yesterday about why it's so important to make sure the state department gets the resources it needs. >> the report specifically calls on resources. there's a need to put about $2.5 billion a year over a number of years into efforts to strengthen our security status in various critical places. >> reporter: so if it is john kerry, as we expect, he could be back before congress in a few weeks to ask for some of those resources during his confirmation hearing. >> yeah, he is walking that fine line. elise labott, live for us, thank you very much. the other big story in washington, of course, the
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stalemate over the fiscal cliff negotiations with only 12 days left to go. there is growing rancor between president obama and house speaker john boehner. rancor is such a good word. there is lots of it there today an it's getting worse. the speaker expected to call for a vote in the house on his plan b which extends the bush era tax cuts on incomes under $1 million. the president has criticized that bill and said he'd never sign it. it's not even clear that the speaker has enough republican votes to pass this plan b. i want to turn to paul steinhauser in washington for the latest on this. good morning, paul. this doesn't seem to be going many places this morning. >> reporter: it sure doesn't. what happened to the optimism from earlier this week? we heard a lot of rancor from both the president and from mr. boehner yesterday. the president making his fiscal cliff comments after announcing some new efforts on gun control. about two hours later, the house speaker went in front of cameras and talked to just 56 seconds. here's what both men said. >> the president's offer of $1.3
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trillion in revenues and $850 billion in spending reductions fails to meet the test that the president promised the american people, a balanced approach. and i hope the president will get serious soon about providing and working with us on a balanced approach. >> at some point there's got to be, i think, a recognition on the part of my republican friends that -- you know, take the deal. they will be able to claim that they have worked with me over the last two years to reduce the deficit more than any other deficit reduction package. >> reporter: the big question, john, as you said, does the house speaker have enough support from his own party to pass that plan b. he did get some support yesterday from grover norquist who backed the plan, gave it his blessing.
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will this plan b vote side track the bigger negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff. john? >> the speaker furiously trying to secure the votes he needs. you also have news about public opinion on this new polling data. >> reporter: a national poll just out about 90 minutes ago. we asked which party's views may be too extreme, its opinions too extreme. you can see more americans say republicans rather than democrats. that was a very different story two years ago. finally one more number. the approval rating, president obama, 52%, john boehner, just 34% of americans say he's doing a good job as house speaker. >> paul steinhauser in washington where there is a lot of rancor. thanks very much, paul. it is 38 minutes past the hour. new details coming to light about the days leading up to the newtown massacre. friends of nancy lanza, the shooter's mother, saying she was in new hampshire taking a short getaway at a hotel.
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that's about four hours away from newtown. they say she felt comfortable enough to leave him alone four days. the morning after she returned, she was found dead. would you send your child to school in body armor? sales of things like bulletproof backpacks surging. 500% after the tragedy in connecticut. coming up, what some parents and the company selling it are saying. ta! santa! ho, ho, ho santa! want to see some magic? watch this! merry chr... (crash) ow! i landed on my keys. did you get that? oh yeah. that was amazing. here you go. that was a fun trick! see? santa's okay. walk it off santa. share videos instantly with s beam. on the galaxy siii and note ii. for a limited time get two flip covers for the price of one. exclusively at verizon.
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i'm going to dream about that steak. i'm going to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh? but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today. yeah we both relieve coughs, sneezing, aches, fevers. and i relieve nasal congestion. overachiever. [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't.
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welcome back. 42 minutes past the hour. in the days following the shooting at sandy hook elementary in newtown, there's been a surge, a demand for little known products that can literally bulletproof your children. >> from backpack inserts to bullet resistant toddler pants, parents are going to extremes to keep their kids from becoming statistics. >> reporter: it is a disturbing sign of the times. >> you guys make inserts for children's backpacks. >> that's correct. >> reporter: bullet resistant inserts. >> that's correct. >> this is one of them? >> yes. >> show us how they work. >> this is our military grade product. >> reporter: coo rich brand says in the last week sales have
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jumped 500% and are still climbing. desperate parents seeking ways to protect their kids in the most extreme situations. the material will not stop high velocity rounds like the ones used in newtown, but three shots with a 9 millimeter at point blank range -- >> all of the kinetic energy and penetration was actually absorbed with our armor. >> three small holes. the armor is a little stiffer. and the rounds are inside here? >> that's correct. >> reporter: and amend two is not alone. in boston bullet blocker, in austin, texas, bulletproofme.com says sales are up 50%. even the colombian designer has a request for bullet resistant gaurmentes for a toddler. >> people do say that you're profiting off of terror and
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horror. >> and that's the last thing that we wanted to do. i mean this was something that we put out there at the request of parents trying to meet the needs. >> reporter: amendment two says it's proprietary material lends itself to a product some teachers have asked for, a protective blanket. >> because of the lightweight nature of the material the company uses, they say it can be used as a mat in a school and in an emergency for protection. >> reporter: at salt lake city's get some, guns and ammo owners say protective gear won't stop a killer. only another gun will. >> i think if you knew every teacher had a gun, you'd think a little differently about your plan. >> reporter: utah has allowed teachers to carry concealed weapons. the law is yet to be tested. but after newtown, anything seems possible. >> our thanks to miguel. this is innovation and ingenuity you never want to think about. >> now you wonder do you, don't you, what's the answer.
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it is 45 minutes past the hour. let's get you up to date on the other top stories. blizzard warnings in six states this morning. the season's first significant winter storm slamming the midwest and the great plains right before the holiday. word this hour that the storm has already knocked out power to 36,000 customers. that's in iowa. and they are getting the brunt of it right now. the storm is expected to dump up to a foot of snow in some places as far north as wisconsin. benghazi report fallout. one state department official resigns, three others on disciplinary administrative leave this morning after that independent review examining september's attack cited systemic failures in leadership and management deficiencies. tuesday officials are expected to testify before house and senate committees later this morning. president obama found the secretary of the army to personally express his concern about reports of abuse at the day care center at ft. mier in virginia. this week two workers at the facility were charged with assaulting a child. a review of all the workers found several with questionable
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backgrounds, including records of sexual abuse of a minor, sexual assault and assault. about three hours from now, the casket carrying the late senator daniel inouye will lie in the house capitol rotunda so the public can pay their respects. he was a world war ii hero, witness to pearl harbor and second longest serving senator in history. he represented hawaii from the time it became a state. his fun yeral is tomorrow. in south korea, the country's first female president has been elected to office. she is the 60-year-old daughter of a former military dictator who led back in the 1970s. she is promising greater engagement in north korea. let me give this a try. to infinity and beyond. take a look at the new threads at nasa. these are well. these streamlined white and green z-1 space suits could soon replace the bulkier one
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astronauts wear now. they could enhance astronaut capability and mobility during space walks. also nice green flare there. >> well, kids buzz lightyear is coming to life. i'm loving this. it's my favorite. it isn't rocket science, it's good ole country know-how. how to use moon shine to launch a rocket. coming up, the star of tv's rocket city red necks is going to join us live. ld truth. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook.
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we want you to meet a really interesting man. he is a former nasa scientist who's worked for the government for the past 25 years. >> now he's the star of the hit show "rocket city rednecks" where he and his team solve engineering problems using good ole engineering ingenuity. they're helping build a steam catapult to launch a car forward just like an aircraft carrier catapult. take a look. >> this thing hopefully if it works right, it's going to give you a little bit of a jolt. jay and i got in the car, we buckled up, default our helmets
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on, we're ready to go. here we are in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. do you hear the guys in the background? yeah, yeah, we're loving that. so the show's second season premieres tonight on the national geographic channel. dr. travis taylor joins us now. welcome. very nice to have you. >> good morning. >> this jay leno moment, were you a little worried that was going to back fire on you? >> well, we didn't want to kill the nation's talk show funny man. then my dad took me aside and said, on, you better not kill jay leno. but i asked jay, i said, jay, we're going to get kind of a jolt from this. do you think you can handle it? do you have any health issues i need to know about? he said, well, i pulled 7.3 gs with the blue angels. >> so you worked with the department of defense and nasa for 25 years, had above top
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secret clearance. you hold five degrees. optical science, engineering, physics, aerospace engineers, astronomy and electrical engineering and are currently completing a second ph.d. in engineering. >> i completed that. >> you're a showoff, let me say that. you're a showoff. >> why this show with all of these degrees? >> well, that's a really good question. i was talking to my family about doing this show, the idea was we want to get the next generation interested in science and math again. we want to get the kids back into it seeing that it's cool. so we can have that next generation of people like neil armstrong. >> the term "redneck" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people and they're not always nice. but you embrace it. >> absolutely. we've looked up several different origins, but the true one is the southern farmers, share croppers, they had everything they had on their
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farm. if something went wrong, they had to fix it with the things they had so they were hard-working family centric folks. >> so one of the things that you've used is to create a moon shine powered rocket. let's look at this. >> we're pouring moon shine into the rocket's fuel tank. and then very carefully we insert that fuel tank into the rocket, which, by the way, is loaded with explosives. it's going, it's going, it's going. >> my first reaction is this is a waste of some good moon shine, but second, how do you come up with these ideas? >> the first american in space went into space on moon shine. i bet you didn't know that, did you? it was about 80% moon shine and 20% water. >> you're being serious? >> i'm being serious. >> you have this deadpan delivery. >> explain what you mean there. >> well, alcohol is a really good rocket fuel when you mix it
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with liquid oxygen or nitrous oxide and makes a very good rocket motor. so that's what they used for the first rocket that put alan shepherd in space. >> i've got to tell you i'm a believer. i sat and watched this with my 14-year-old and we just kept on watching and watching and watching and he was learning in the process. so congratulations, i think this is remarkable. have you ever had any close calls? >> well, we did build a submarine out of a fertilizer tank -- >> what could possibly go wrong? >> well, my dad wasn't real happy when me and my nephew got in there and we went underwater. we hit about 16 feet and that turns out to be the crush depth of some of the pieces we were using. so we sunk the thing like twice in 30 seconds. it was a little scary but we were fine. we got out. >> dr. travis taylor, you have to come back and teach us science because that would be the most fun science class in the history ever. >> absolutely. pleasure to do it. >> thank you very much. coming up, we knew it all along. the truth behind this viral video. an eagle swooping down and
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snatching a baby. later on "starting point" what is the deal with tim tebow? why the nfl's most celebrated backup can't get in the game, even with the starter riding the bench. five days later, i had a massive heart attack. bayer aspirin was the first thing the emts gave me. now, i'm on a bayer aspirin regimen. [ male announcer ] be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. [ woman ] learn from my story. before you begin an aspirin regimen. with two times the points on dining in restaurants,? you may find yourself asking
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with odor free aspercreme. powerful medicine relieves pain fast, with no odor. so all you notice is relief. aspercreme. welcome back. 57 minutes past the hour. looking at the top cnn trends. >> it looks almost too strange to be true. guess what, it is. it looks like an eagle swoops out of the air, picks up a baby and then drops him. so it turns out that's a really well done fake. it is orchestrated by students studying 3-d animation design in
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montreal. they made the baby and they made the eagle. i love that. >> such good technology. >> you're going to meet them. coming up on "starting point" we'll talk to the three students behind the hoax who are soaking up all the viral fame. >> this is going viral too. friendly neighborhood spider-man dropping by the oval office. this picture of president obama playing with a kid in a spider-man costume is spreading all over the web. it was posted on the president's facebook and twitter accounts. one of the writers was joking that spider-man was mad because he makes over $250,000 a year. he's worried about his taxes going up. >> that is so sweet. that is it for "early start." thanks for being with us today. >> "starting point with soledad o'brien" starts right now. good morning, welcome, everybody. our starting pointing this morning, a winter thrashing. a giant winter storm is threatening holiday getaway plans nationwide. a foot of snow up north and we're watching for a possible